Bulldogs third, Bearcats fifth at Alliance Invitational
     2011-10-27      By Terry Gaston   
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen: Mitchell senior Andee Grentz (No. 7) reaches high to spike the ball against the defense of Bayard sophomore Hannah Lenhart (No. 10) and junior teammate Kaylyn Long (No. 4) during t 
Gering finished off its regular-season volleyball schedule with what Bulldogs coach Craig Schadwinkel called “an important week of volleyball this past week.”

The Bulldogs shook off a first-game loss at Sidney on Tuesday to upend the Red Raiders in four games, 26-28, 25-22, 25-16, 25-17.
Then on Thursday, Gering had a tough second game at Bridgeport but won the battle of the Bulldogs in straight games, 25-18, 27-25, 25-18.

Finally on Saturday, the Bulldogs saw Sidney gain revenge from earlier in the week in pool play at the Pilford Invitational at Alliance. Gering opened pool play with a 25-23, 23-25, 25-20 win over host Alliance before Sidney snapped the Bulldogs’ 10-match winning streak.

Gering completed the tournament with a 25-1i8, 25-20 victory over Chadron in the third-place match.

“On Tuesday we traveled to Sidney and defeated the Red Raiders, which was very good as they had defeated us earlier in the year and we didn’t feel that we had played our best ball against them,” Gering coach Craig Schadwinkel said.

“Then on Thursday we traveled to Bridgeport and defeated them in three straight sets. I was very pleased with the girls as Bridgeport has a great team.

“On Saturday we defeated Alliance in pool play in our first match. Alliance played very well against us, the best I’ve seen them play all year, but I was proud of how the girls fought through things and won. Alliance played almost error-free ball, so they had to work extremely hard against them to get the win.

“Then in our second match we lost to Sidney in three close sets. We were ahead of Sidney in the second set and had a chance to win that set, but made some errors at critical times that we normally don’t make. I was proud of the team however even in the loss as they fought hard and just came up a few points short.

“In the third-place match we faced Chadron, and the girls responded as the true champions that they are and beat Chadron in two straight sets and finished the day off playing their best ball. I did not want to go into the district tournament next week with two losses in a row.

“Overall the day was a little weird, as all of the matches were very close and no one was able to dominate their opponents.”

Even in finishing in fifth place, Scottsbluff proved feisty in is competitiveness. The Bearcats opened with a 25-16, 15-13 loss to Ogallala and extended Chadron to three games before the Cardinals prevailed 25-17, 23-25, 25-20.

Scottsbluff (10-21) then finished strong for fifth place against Alliance, downing the Bulldogs 25-12, 15-17.

The win over Alliance was the second for the Bearcats over the Bulldogs in five days. Scottsbluff finally upended Alliance after two earlier losses, sweeping the Bulldogs off their home court, 25-10, 25-21, 25-21.

Scottsbluff then battled North Platte to four games before bowing to the host Bulldogs on Thursday, 25-20, 19-25, 25-16, 25-19.

The Bearcats conclude their regular season Saturday in the Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference Tournament at North Platte.

Gering will take a 27-6 record into District B-6 play, which begins Tuesday and concludes next Thursday.

“We currently are fifth in the wild-card points and that is a great spot to be in,” Schadwinkel said. “It will give us a chance at a wild card if things don’t change. The NSAA will release the official B-6 district pairings on Thursday, but we will unofficially be the number 1 seed.”

WTC Tournament

Mitchell won a tough battle over Bridgeport to claim the Western Trails Conference Tournament championship Saturday in Gordon.

The Tigers won the first game 25-19 before Bridgeport tied the match with a 25-18 win in the second game. In the final game, Mitchell won the WTC title with a 25-20 victory.

Mitchell (24-4) advanced to the championship match by defeating Morrill in the semifinals, 25-10, 25-12.

Bridgeport made the title match with its 25-17, 25-19, pool-play win over Bayard and its 25-17, 22-25, 25-20 semifinal victory over Kimball.

Kimball upended Morrill for third place, 25-20, 25-14, while Gordon-Rushville defeated Hemingford 25-18, 25-19 for fifth place.

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